News - November 2018
all are continually learning in our Christian walk. The article below is from the Reformed Church
of America’s website. If you have
questions/concerns please do not hesitate to talk with Pastor Brian.
be successful, renewal and revitalization require congregation-wide initiatives
led by consistories and other leadership groups within the church. But renewal
rarely begins that way; renewal of a congregation most often blossoms from the
renewal of a single person--the pastor. And many times, that personal renewal
is fostered by a sabbatical.
is a sabbatical? A sabbatical is a
time to focus in-depth on things that are important to a person's work and life
with the church. Sabbaticals for pastors are highly recommended in order to
renew the calling and creativity of our spiritual leaders. Such sabbaticals
should include intentional times for reflection, rekindling the spirit, and
deepening spiritual life and family relationships.
should we give our pastor a sabbatical?
A congregation should arrange for a pastor's sabbatical because it's biblical,
and because both the pastor and the church need it. The sabbatical year
practiced by the Hebrew people was the final year in a cycle of seven years
(Leviticus 25:3-4). It was also a time when the Hebrew people had the
opportunity to renew their trust in God as the provider of all of their needs,
even during the time when they did not labor.
a pastor has served a congregation for five years or more, they have a tendency
to take God and one another for granted, often falling into frustrating
patterns rather than finding a faithful and creative future. A sabbatical for
the pastor can provide time to focus on reading, writing, preaching, and
prayer, and forces members to exercise their ministries for the good of one
another and the gospel.
does the congregation benefit? In a
video presentation entitled Why You Should Give Your Pastor a Sabbatical,
Roy Oswald says, "Granting a sabbatical leave to a pastor becomes a great
way for congregants to once again claim certain roles within a congregation
that correspond with the gifts they have been given by God."
to we start planning for a sabbatical?
Sabbatical planning should include the church as well as the pastor. Some
churches have found that forming a sabbatical committee is a good way to work
together. The following suggestions for sabbatical planning are endorsed by the
Reformed Church in America:
installed pastor is encouraged to negotiate an appropriate sabbatical leave
with the consistory every five years. The length of the sabbatical leave may
vary. A length of two to four months ought to be given serious consideration by
a sabbatical, salary and benefits shall continue to be paid as during normal
expenses incurred during a sabbatical leave (cost of tuition, travel, etc.) are
the responsibility of the minister, who may choose to use funds set aside for
continuing education if the consistory agrees that this is appropriate.
Provision for sabbatical
leaves shall be included in the consistory's call to the minister. Appropriate
provision in the annual budget shall be made to ensure that when a plan for a
sabbatical is agreed upon, the funds for adjunct pastoral assistance (as
needed) are available.
--Adapted from Minutes
of General Synod 1987, pp. 203-204
-submitted by Candy Matthews